Wow long post - looks like something I'd write.
Originally Posted by Tailpipe
Shortly after returning to Apple, Steve Jobs outlined the company's computer strategy using a 2 x 2 matrix, with laptops
across one axis and users divided into professional
markets across the other.
That matrix has been a joke for far too long now. When it was established it made sense because of what was required to rebuild the company. That time has long passed.
Today, that matrix seems to hold true: the professional desktop system remains the Mac Pro and the professional laptop remains the MacBook Pro, albeit nicely re-envisioned with the new retina-display 15.4" MBP model. For consumers, the desktop system continues to be the iMac and the consumer laptop has evolved from the MacBook to the MacBook Air.
This is garbage, there are more professionals these days using AIRs and iMacs than the so-called professional machines. Nothing Apple sells any more is truly consummer grade except for perhaps the Mini. The consummer market is cheap.
However, if Steve had been introducing the new MacBook Pro line, I have no doubt that he would have simultaneously launched a 13" MacBook Pro with a retina display as well as the 15.4" model.
You really need to grow up with this "if" nonsense, you have no idea why the decisions where made to go this route. Beyond that Steve has screwed up countless new product releases in the past.
If retina equipped MacBook Pros are the future for Professional users, then the older range is now outdated and irrelevant. It seems very "un-Steve" to continue selling the first generation unibody MBPs.
Again stop with the ifs and the un-Steves! No body wants to hear it. Frankly what Apple is doing here would be considered good business when transitioning to new technology. The have a sales cushion should anything go wrong with ramp up of the new technology.
Some people have been quick to point out that the retention of the older MBP line-up was due to the need to offer a range of Pro laptops across different price points. This excuse seems lame. Apple has the power to price as it wishes. It also has the power to inspire revolutions that drive change. So this makes me ask why no 13" retina MacBook Pro now?
Maybe they don't have the screens? Or maybe they thought that Intel integrated GPUs could drive the screens and then learned latter that isn't the case. There are all sorts of maybes that could be real possibilities. It really doesn't do any good to speculate now that we have shipping product.
I don't buy hardware design limitations.If it was impossible to fit the necessary components into a 13" enclosure without a DVD/CD drive, then something has to give. The big issue is clearly battery life and the need for a discrete GPU to power the retina display. But I doubt that the technical issues are beyond the abilities of Apples design and hardware engineering teams.
Why worry about it at this time? Think about this all the notebooks got updated to some extent. You may not like specific updates but at least you got them. Look instead at what potential desktop users got. Now there is a real discussion.
The other thing I don't buy is the lack of user-upgradeability built into the new MacBook Pro. The SSD capacities are inadequate for Pro machines. I realise that cost is a genuine issue, but this surely makes a strong case for allowing users to buy and fit larger capacity SSD drives as they become available (and affordable).
You have repeated this idea again that the SSD are upgradable in the RMBP, that is garbage. The SSD is on a card similar to the ones in the AIRs. As to SSD capacities Apple is giving us state of the art options here for a note book. Can some of us use more? Certainly we could but the question is where would you put such storage in the current design? At least there are now two TB ports which is a huge plus for this machine.
If that's true for hard disk capacities, it is also true for RAM. It may be that processor and motherboard designs have evolved in such a way that soldering SSD units directly onto them makes more sense, but as things stand a lack of a plausible explanation makes it look as if Apple is treating its customers like idiots.
What do we call customer that repeatly have said that the SSDs are soldered in when they aren't? As to RAM being solder in that isn't perfect but at least Apple has grown up a bit and isn't charging massive amounts for a RAM upgrade. So if somebody buys this machine without enough RAM for their needs then, yeah I guess they are idiots.
So while the the new Retina MacBook Pro is undoubtedly impressive, I can't help feeling that it is a bit half-assed. I remember when the first unibody MacBooks were launched, they were quickly redesigned to eliminate the flimsy battery cover and to increase battery capacity. I wonder if history will repeat itself? Whatever, we need a 13" MacBook pro with a retina display to appear pronto.
My god man have you looked at the pcs of the RMBP? This is perhaps one of the best engineered machines on the market right now. The only thing half assed is your view on the machine.
The other half-assed hardware upgrade was the MacPro.
Well this I agree with. It isn't just the Mac Pro but the entire desktop line up that has seen zero creativity in years. If one looks at how far Apple has come with the AIRs and the RMBP you have to wonder why the desktops have suffered so. A poor neglected step child gets more attention than the desktop line up.
How difficult would it have been to add new processors, a new GPU, Thunderbolt, and USB 3.0 support?
While we can blame some of this on Intel, Apples role here is significant.
Now we hear talk of a significantly updated Mac Pro next year. I'm hoping these official leaks are Apples way of saying don't buy this Mac Pro unless you really need it as we have a major update coming. All in all though they created a significant mess with the way this role out was handled and alienated many customers. The least hey could have done was come clean at WWDC and publically stated before role out, that the Mac Pro was getting an interim update. The hostility level would have been far less.
Tim Cook's message of reassurance was a commendable response, but how did Apple get this so wrong? As someone responsible for buying MacPro systems for a small business, the cost is usually sufficiently high that you don't want to do it that often. A lot of Pro users like to upgrade their laptops every year, but if you're running a business, you want as many years of life out of a desktop machine before you junk it. As things stand, we're very pleased with our Mac Pros. They work well and we have come-up against few problems that would necessitate a move to a more powerful system. We like Apple's incremental approach to upgrading systems because it reduces training and business risk. But,you know what, it really is time for a proper refresh. The net of this is that I feel Pro users have been let down buy Apple.
They haven't been let down so much as given a poor option. In otherwords Apple realized that they needed to offer something better than the current Mac Pros as a hold over, but never indicated to customers what was going on. Further they never put the effort into the upgrade they should have. It does demonstrate a lack of ability to interface well with Pro users. The thing that really kills me though is a 3 year old video card, that is a move only a complete idiot would make.
With the MacBook Air consumers have been served well. These laptops are great machines. But the iMac, like the MacPro desktops, was also due for a refresh. Again, how difficult would it have been to to add new processors and GPUs? Apple could have bumped both the iMac and MacPro when Ivy Bridge launched a while back. So it is fair to say that consumers have been let down by the lack of an iMac refresh.
Apple does have a pattern of whipping the finger at desktop users. Frankly this is getting rather old, as is the same old crappy desktop hardware. The only thing Apple might have up their sleeves is an iMac and Mini roll out for the new OS release. However tying desktop hardware to a low profile roll out of Mountain Lion just sends the wrong message to desktop users.
In searching for answers to what I hope will be unrepeated miss-steps, I wonder if Apple has been a bit premature in announcing the post-PC age?
Don't obsess with marketing talk.
Despite the advent of the iPad for both pro users and consumers, I'd say that both desktop and laptop computers remain viable machines. As good as the iPad is, there are are a number of heavy duty tasks that are still performed better by a computer with a large screen and a keyboard. That's true for pro users (think video editing, image manipulation, handling large spreadsheets, creating image-intensive documents and presentations, designing applications and so on). It's also true for consumer users, may of whom perform the same tasks on a recreational basis. As larger touch screen devices appear, it seems likely that we'll move away from vertically mounted screens to horizontally positioned slates. The trouble is that they haven't been invented yet. When they come, voice input systems should aid the transition for desktop to pad. I tend to think that this transition will be gradual and driven as much by advances in software and UI design than system hardware design. So, for the moment, traditional laptop and desktop computers remain relevant.
I don't know what you are talking about above. It really sounds like you pay far to much attention to Apples marketing. IPad might be the best thing to come out of Apple but that doesn't mean that people will stop using other hardware.
In any event you act like Apples attitude towards desktop users is something new. It isn't at all. It has been this way well before 2008 when I brought my MBP. Note that impart the MBP was purchased because Apple didn't have viable desktops back then and now in 2012 they still don't. In fact the line up hasn't changed one bit. They still have an iMac that no rational technically minded person would purchase, the Mini is still a castrated the machine and the Mac Pro is still a grossly over priced out sized box. Mean while the laptop line up has drastically been reengineered and verupy well done if I might add.
Meanwhile, as processor advances give us ever more powerful machines, another hugely relevant factor is that the distinction between business and consumer machines is become less marked.
Frankly this is garbage too. The consumer / pro line up is an allusion. About the only thing that comes close to being a consumer machine is the Mini which frankly a terrible value for most consumers. These days people buy what fits their needs.
I mean that today's 13" MacBook Air is more powerful than recent 13" MacBook Pros. Similarly, the iMac is more powerful than previous MacPros. At the risk of repeating Bill Gates misconceived remark, that "512 kb should be enough memory for just about anyone", it seems that the law of diminishing returns will eventually apply to laptop and desktop computers. In the meantime, Pro users seem to find inevitable ways to use an extra power they gain in new machines. What I'm saying is that if there is demand, why not meet it?
Come on man - todays computers are more powerful than yesterday's, where is the surprise in that.
As to Pro users I suspect that Apples foul up with the Mac Pro release is a sign that they intend to meet the needs of Pro users with a significantly faster machine. For whatever reason that comes in 2013.
After Steve's death many people will look for opportunities to say that the company has lost focus. I don't think that for a moment, but leading so many talented employees requires real vision, unshakeable beliefs and the strength of character to carry through ideas from birth until the time they need to be killed.
So what makes you think this is a problem? As bad as this foul up with the WWDC roll outs was, nothing has changed significantly at Apple. Frankly I started to track Apple well before 2008 when I switched from Linux to the Mac as my primary machine. Sadly nothing has really changed, if you want decent desktop hardware you are screwed when it comes to Macs. It is no wonder the Hackentosh community has continued to grow.
The only thing significantly different with this WWDC is the terrible handling of the Mac Pro release. This will haunt Apple all this year and into next year until the Mac Pros replacement debuts. It might even haunt them after that if the Mac Pros replacement is another piece of uninspired crap.
That leaves us with the iMac and Mini waiting for updates. If people think back a bit this isn't the first time this has happened either. So the question becomes where the hell are they? If that question isn't answered around the roll out of Mountain Lion then we have real issues that Apple will need to address. What makes this frustrating is that the pattern of ignoring the desktop is just getting worst with really pathetic updates each year in the face of strong laptop innovation. So if these machines come and it is YET another half hearted effort then yah people will justifiably be up in arms. However let's not drag Steve into this, this attitude has been around well before 2008. Anybody that has followed Apple for as long as I have is well aware of the problem, that is why we post about the XMac, decent Mini configurations and a serviceable iMac. I think you need to pop open a beer an try to open up your mind and be a bit more objective, the anti desktop mentality at Apple has been around a long time.